A HardwareZone Special: PlayTest May 2009

The Diorama and HWM

The Diorama

The centerpiece of this PlayTest, the diorama was at the heart of six photography and videography tasks that participants could complete. At three different stations located around the diorama, editorial members were present to brief participants on the activity and lesson for each station, along with the necessary gadgets, from compact digital cameras to DSLRs.

Activities revolved around getting participants to learn about some photography basics, like color and contrast, the rule of thirds, how to take action shots and more. To accompany learning these tasks, we had the following mix of cameras and video camcorders at different stations:- Nikon D90, Nikon D40x, Nikon D3x, Olympus E-30, Samsung ST50, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 Canon PowerShot SX200 IS and Canon Legria FS200. From what we saw of the participants hovering near the diorama and listening to our tech writers talk about this topic, it's clear that this is a subject that many were interested to brush up their skills as well applying them across different devices.

One of the many participants trying their hand at capturing an image to remember.

While the avid photographers were focused on snapping their shots and honing their skills around the diorama, there's no doubt that the shiny flat screen TVs (at the rear of the hall) linked to consoles at GameAxis' area were an equally interesting attraction.

Senior Tech Writer Luke Tan giving useful photography tips to participants.

Macro photography testing in progress by one of the participants.

Not forgetting the videography side of things. Here, Tech Writer Alvin Soon discussing his pet topic with interested participants.

Our own attempt at capturing a moving object came out looking pretty decent.

HWM's Showcase

HWM meanwhile prepared a diverse range of gadgets that represented the breadth of consumer electronics. From the new Samsung B7000 LED TV that was displaying a live video feed from an equally new Acer Aspire Timeline notebook (via a Linksys NMH405 Media Hub) to the stereoscopic 3D Vision glasses from NVIDIA, quite a few important and current technologies were being showcased.

Add to that are various mobile devices and media players (such as Creative's media players, Kindle 2, HTC Magic and Samsung i7500 among others), the HWM booth attracted quite a bit of interest from various attendees wanting to learn about these new technologies even though there were no activities allocated at this booth. That's all fine and good by us since we wanted to wow our attendees and we certainly think they shared the same feeling when they got in touch with these various gadgets.

One of the demonstrations from HWM was a live media streaming of videos from this Acer Timeline notebook to a big screen TV, via a Linksys media hub which held all the content.

As you can see, sharing media wireless in your home has never been easier. Some of the videos produced by HWM, HardwareZone and GameAxis were streamed and played on this LED-backlit LCD HDTV.

Introducing the portable Canon Selphy was HWM's Andy Sim. Small, handy and unlike the usual printers .

Also found at HWM's booth was NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision kit. This device, which comes with a wireless pair of 3D glasses, allows users to play supported games in a stereoscopic 3D view. For more information on how it works and performs, do check our review of the 3D Vision glasses .

Not only do you look cool in those 3D glasses, the immersion factor is increased greatly. Now all he needs is a pair of headphones to complete the modern gamer look.

While HWM also showcased some of the latest mobile phones and media players, the star of the show belonged to the recently released Kindle 2. Unavailable locally (except via import), the much touted e-book reader gets much attention from the crowd.